Since I began my Stay At Home Mom (SAHM) journey over a year ago, actually BECOMING Keeper at Home has been quite challenging for me.
First, I had to undergo a personal transformation that allowed me to understand more fully the value, the responsibility, the role that “Keeper at Home” entails. Having worked after the births of both of my girls, I was just a “working mommy” and learned to find satisfaction in what was necessary for us at the time.
I enjoyed the structure of a 9-5 working schedule because it was “normal” – it was routine – it was required. I never realized how spontaneous and free-flowing my nature is until I no longer had someone else telling me what to do with my time.
When you are a SAHM – time is very fluid. At least for THIS SAHM it is.
It is amazing how fast time flies when you’re having fun.
When I’m on the computer – checking my emails, networking, trying to stay in touch with friends & family – it always shocks me how quickly time passes. I think to myself, “I’ll only spend 1 hour on the computer this morning.” And then three hours later, I’m STILL reading through emails, blog posts, and more. And leaving SO MUCH untouched, unviewed, unread…
And my oldest is asking for juice for the 19th time as I hear myself saying “As soon as mommy is finished reading this email / blog post, etc…” Argh!
Needless to say, when this happens, my house suffers. Terribly. Not to mention my FAMILY…
So I’m having to establish a time frame for computering. And being more flexible with it, too. Allowing myself a set amount of time to be on the computer – whenever I have the opportunity.
This gets tricky when little girls want to play, housework is calling, homework assignments are looming, deadlines are rapidly approaching, and the call of God to write in a more serious way is louder than ever.
But the call on my life as a wife & mom has to be first and finding the balance is key. (Check out this post on Like a Warm Cup of Coffee.) Finding the balance is only going to be possible with God’s help. He’s blessing abundantly with so much – and I have to trust that He will meet His callings on my life with the ability to complete His work.
Redeeming the time. That’s key…
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17 (Amplified)
My Home Keeper Notebook
In part, My Home Keeper Notebook (MHKN) has been a useful tool. I cannot tell you just how well it works for me!!! I’ve had a few posts about putting my MHKN binder together and finding a wide range of resources and printables to use. I’ve shared delicious new recipes and menu ideas – all because of this great application of a simple tool!
Actually, reading through these previous posts, I can see the transition as it was happening for me.
It even made a difference in my attitude about BEING a SAHM. I felt more responsible, more valuable – because I could see just exactly how I was contributing to the management of our home & family. (Having worked for many years, my “value” – as I saw it – was somewhat measured by my incoming paycheck… I don’t mean that in a I-am-worthless-if-I-don’t-earn-a-paycheck kind of way – it was just that I could measure my contribution in terms of dollars & cents.)
It helps me to review and write down what needs to be done every day. I still struggle with a specific “schedule” but am gradually moving in that direction. Sticking to what needs to be done is not so easy – I tend to be inflexible in some areas (if I can’t accomplish certain things by a certain time, I get frustrated and give up on the entire day), and even lazy in some areas (I SOOO dread doing dishes and yet it irks me to see dirty dishes on my counter and in my sink…)
When I can review a day’s worth of work and see all I have accomplished on my task list (and not just what I did NOT accomplish) – and can still find time to incorporate playtime outside or tea party inside – it gives me a different sense of capability, of my ability, of satisfaction in work well done.
I can also see those days where I left much to be desired. And can work on that, too! And I’m learning to give it all to God. He DOES care about the details of my day, as insignificant as they seem to me or anyone else.
I keep fiddling with my system – finding prettier forms that are more complete for the things I need and want and like. I change forms. I change resources. I shift and adjust. And I’m finally settling.
And then God gives me this… And facing tomorrow doesn’t seem so impossible.